Nothing like hometown holidays for a dose of “we’re all growing up.”



That quote is from “One Tree Hill.” I loved that show so much. And it seems like just yesterday that there were five girls piled into a 10′ x 19′ dorm room, squished onto a bunk bed, bean bag and empty desk chairs watching the latest episode.

Yet, somehow, that was six years ago.

And, given a flashback–I’d be willing to bet I wouldn’t have guessed where I’m at today in a million years. Nor would I have guessed that today would get here so quickly.

That’s kind of the fun of it though, right? The not guessing part.

Where did you forecast you would be today when asked five years ago? Are you doing what you thought? Are you with the people you thought you’d be with? Are you living where you thought you’d live? And have you accomplished what you hoped?

Growing up in a small town where seemingly the average marrying age is 20 and most have their family set by mid-twenties, I kind of assumed that quickly after college all of those other pieces would drop into place and I’d be very . . . settled in. . . about now. But I’m not, and strangely that feels way more natural–even in contradiction to my unspoken assumptions about how life would likely go.

Coming home for the holidays in a town where it feels like 85 percent of my friends are:

a) Married

b) Have children

c) Are buying houses

d) Settling roots

can really make a single, 20-something girl, who didn’t stay in her hometown, self conscious.

For a minute.

And it’s sometimes easy to forget that your life is going to your tune and just because most of your high school friends are any or all of the above, doesn’t mean a thing for being on time, behind or ahead of the curve.

Especially when, like today, you go visit your first childhood friend to have a baby (who is freaking adorable and looks just like a doll, by the way) and see in the flesh that she is a bonafide MOM. It’s so strangely fast. Weren’t we just making jokes about boys and being silly in AP Calculus a hot minute ago?

Today came so fast.

But when you stop to think about all of the beautiful things happening in these friends lives, while it’s albeit different than my own, it’s happy and awesome and leaves me with a sense of “dag, I have so much to look forward to.”

I am so lucky to be on the track that I am. Lord knows what I need and when I need it and what will make me happy. My own story is going at the perfect pace. And even though I weather countless questions about what I want from friends who recognize that I’m not there yet; I have to smile. I’m totally happy with where my life is. I’m not in a rush.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have this time on my own to invest in the community, to invest in friendships, career and learning more of what makes me so particularly “me.”

Man, it’s not what I imagined. But it’s exactly what I’ve needed.

And you know what? I have a lot to look forward to one day. But for today? This is fantastic, because God knows if today came this fast I’m sure tomorrow will come even faster. Might as well savor the time of today that I have.

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